Hyundai confirm that the sporty i30 N-Line is coming to NZ
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One of our most unanimously loved cars of last year was the Hyundai i30 N — the Korean marque's first foray to the hot hatch game. So well liked was the snarling, popping hatchback that it made it onto the podium of the 2018 AA Driven New Zealand Car of the Year (pipped to the win by the Mercedes-Benz A-Class).
It's only natural that Hyundai take that newly found sporting identity and smear it across other models in their line-up via the 'N-Line' moniker. And, late last year, it was confirmed that this would extend to the standard i30 hatchback.
With some jealousy, we've watched Australia enjoy the i30 N-Line for some months now. But, thankfully, Hyundai New Zealand has confirmed that the i30 N-Line will be coming to New Zealand too at a price of $43,990.
For the extra coin, you get a slew of interior and exterior changes designed to sit neatly in between the standard i30 range and the brash full-milk i30 N. The bumpers front and rear are very similar to their N counterparts, with bigger grills and hungrier aerodynamic elements.
Larger 18-inch wheels come wrapped with sticky-as-sin Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres, and the interior is awash with red highlights (including red seat belts), faux carbon-fibre, suede, and sports seats very similar in look and bolstering to those in the N.
Although those Michelin tyres are a big performance feather in the N-Line's cap, it's worth noting that it also gets a more powerful engine as well.
The N-Line gets a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that makes 150kW of power and 265Nm of torque. That's a fair whack more output on tap than the 120kW/203Nm that you get from the standard 2-litre i30 Elite. And, best of all, it's available with a six-speed manual.
Practical hatchbacks with a sporting edge are becoming more popular these days, and the i30 N-Line has its rivals already. There's the Kia Cerato GT was a surprise when we road tested it back in March, while Ford's Focus ST-Line is perhaps the best handling non-RS or ST Focus ever made.
Both are cheaper than this new i30 N-Line. But, time will tell whether that'll make a difference to sales.